Teeth Cleaning And Whitening Specialist

Jane L. Dodson, DDS -  - Dentist

Bainbridge Dental Associates

Jane L. Dodson, DDS

Dentist located in Chagrin Falls, OH

Your first line of defense against cavities starts at home with a diligent brushing and flossing routine. At Bainbridge Dental Associates in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Dr. Jane L. Dodson recommends in-office teeth cleaning with a dental hygienist at least every six months to remove plaque and tartar buildup. Go online to book your hygiene appointment or call the office today.

Teeth Cleaning and Whitening Q & A

If I brush and floss daily, do I still need professional teeth cleanings?

Yes. A professional cleaning removes tartar buildup, which brushing and flossing cannot eradicate. The standard recommendation for professional teeth cleaning and dental checkups is one visit every six months. Some people who are prone to oral infections or gum disease may need to come more often, but for most people twice a year is sufficient.

After the dental hygienist cleans your teeth, Dr. Dodson checks for problems that you can’t detect on your own, such as early signs of tooth decay or the breakdown of a filling or other type of restoration.

What are plaque and tartar and why should I care about them?

Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that is constantly forming on your teeth. When you eat sugary or starchy foods, the oral bacteria consume them and create acids, which chip away at your tooth enamel, eventually weakening it. Over time, this acid erosion can create holes in your teeth, otherwise known as cavities.

When plaque is not removed it hardens into calculus or tartar, which can’t be removed by toothbrushing or flossing. Only a professional cleaning can properly remove the tartar.

Dr. Dodson recommends keeping plaque in check so that it doesn’t cause gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease creates painful, swollen gums that bleed and ultimately recede, which can lead to tooth loss.

What should I expect at a dental checkup?

Dr. Dodson and the friendly, caring staff at Bainbridge Dental Associates take pride creating a pleasant experience for you every time you come in for an appointment. At a typical checkup you’ll see a dental hygienist, who cleans your teeth.

First, the hygienist performs an initial oral exam, checking your teeth, gums, and tongue. Next, an instrument called a scaler is used to scrape any tartar buildup above and below your gumline. The hygienist polishes and flosses your teeth and may apply a fluoride treatment as well.

Since there’s such a connection between your oral health and overall health, the hygienist asks about medications you take, and updates the list in your record. You may also have dental X-rays taken.

Dr. Dodson then does a comprehensive oral exam and reviews any problem areas the hygienist noted. She also reviews your X-rays, if taken, and check for signs of oral cancer or gum disease.

What types of teeth whitening treatments are available?

Dr. Dodson and the staff at Bainbridge Dental Associates offer both in-office and at-home teeth whitening procedures. Whitening options fall into three categories:

  • Over-the-counter whitening products such as whitening strips, toothpastes, gels, and trays
  • Professional in-office or chairside teeth whitening treatments
  • Custom-fitted whitening trays that you can use at home or in the office

Dr. Dodson begins with a free in-depth whitening consultation to learn more about you so that she can help you choose the teeth whitening procedure that’s the best fit for you.

What kinds of stains are removed through teeth whitening?

Tooth enamel can become stained for a variety of reasons, including the normal changes of aging, certain medications, tooth injury, and tobacco use. Pigments in foods and drinks, such coffee, tea, wine, and berries can discolor tooth enamel over time as well.

Unfortunately regular brushing and flossing can’t always remove these stains, and teeth whitening doesn’t always work on stains caused by tooth trauma or medicines. Dr. Dodson can discuss whether your teeth will respond well to whitening, and find the best option to help you get your bright, healthy-looking smile back.

What is the difference between a store-bought teeth whitening kit and a custom-made kit?

Any teeth whitening kit includes the whitening gel and trays that fit over your teeth. But when Dr. Dodson makes an at-home whitening kit for you, she creates a mold of your teeth and mouth and makes custom trays that are fitted perfectly just for you. When a whitening tray is molded uniquely for your mouth, you’ll not only feel more comfortable, but your whitening treatment will be more effective.

The whitening kit you buy from a store includes one-size-fits-all whitening trays. If the fit is off on a tray, the whitening gel may leak onto your gums and cause discomfort or sensitivity.

Is teeth whitening safe?

According to clinical research, teeth whitening is safe. You may feel temporary tooth sensitivity after teeth whitening, especially to hot and cold, but this usually goes away in a day or two. Dr. Dodson and the staff at Bainbridge Dental Associates can help you figure out what’s the best whitening option for your individual needs and goals.